May 11, 2005

Archabbey settles priest abuse allegations

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Matthew Junker
Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Attorneys for a State College man and St. Vincent Archabbey have reached a settlement that ends one family's public dispute with the Roman Catholic Church over decades-old allegations of abuse.

John Morrison filed suit in February 2004 against the archabbey, the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Bishop Joseph V. Adamec, former Bishop James Hogan, and the head of St. Vincent Archabbey, Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki. The suit sought an unspecified amount in excess of $30,000 for alleged sexual molestation by the Rev. Alvin T. Downey, a monk of St. Vincent and a psychiatric nurse.

Downey was appointed in 1980 to serve as pastor of Morrison's home church, St. John the Evangelist, in Bellefonte, by the archabbey and the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese to substitute for a vacationing priest.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but were not sealed. Morrison's attorney, Helen R. Kotler, of Pittsburgh, said Morrison declined to disclose the terms.

"These are very emotional and stressful cases for the plaintiffs. They bring back memories of things they'd rather not revisit," Kotler said.

Posted by kshaw at May 11, 2005 08:21 AM